Waldorf Personal Injury Lawyer
Our Waldorf personal injury lawyers have been practicing law in Maryland for 70 years. Initially having an office in Washington, D.C., for several decades, we recently opened a second office in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. While we have always served the people of Maryland, this provides us a greater opportunity to focus resources on the state and the people of Waldorf. Below, our experienced attorneys answer the most common questions we receive to help you better.
What is a Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury case is available to a victim of negligent or intentional conduct. But, of course, many obstacles may bar your recovery on your claim. This is why it is always prudent to consult with a Waldorf personal injury lawyer for advice specific to your case. When an individual suffers some harm due to the actions of another, and those actions are not legally justified, you may have a right to compensation. Our job is to seek compensation for the damages you suffer. There are several avenues we can go down to achieve this result. But in any injury case, for your claim to be valid, we must be able to prove the elements of your cause of action by a preponderance of the evidence. This means each element must be more likely than not to have occurred.
In a personal injury case, a tortfeasor can be an individual, a restaurant, a bar, a nightclub, or the government. With each type of defendant, there are countless implications your Waldorf personal injury lawyer needs to be aware of. For example, suing the government as a defendant is the least desirable option of the lot. Some statutes limit the amount you can recover, especially if it is the federal government in Washington, D.C.. Moreover, sovereign immunity can apply in certain instances. There are also notice requirements that, if not adequately adhered to, can destroy your case in a way that would not be used against a typical defendant.
What Types of Accidents Fall Under Personal Injury Law?
Theoretically, any accident where we can establish liability on the part of a third party can constitute a personal injury case. But of course, some accidents occur more frequently. Below is a list of the most common types of accidents in Waldorf.
Should I Speak to the Insurance Company Without a Waldorf Injury Lawyer?
You must consult your Waldorf personal injury lawyer before contacting the insurance company. As soon as you sign your retainer with our firm, we send a letter of representation to all parties involved in this case, including the insurance company. Once they are on alert that you have an attorney, they cannot legally communicate with you directly. Instead, all communications should go through our office. Occasionally, though only in some cases, we will approve a direct conversation as they record questions to you over the phone. This is a relatively straightforward process. Also, we will let you know what to expect before we talk.
Insurance companies are master manipulators. Many of their employees will treat you with the utmost friendliness and professionalism. But do not let this fool you. Insurance companies are in business to make money. This means that when they have to pay due to an insurance contract with a tortfeasor, they want to limit their exposure as much as possible. Accordingly, they will try convincing you to contradict yourself, undermining your personal injury case. Anything they can get you to say that they can use against you in court, they will use.
What Should I do Immediately After my Injury?
The general instructions apply immediately after your injury, whether a motor vehicle accident or a b. The very first thing to do is to get to safety. If you are on the road, move your vehicle to a safe location on the side of the road. This is an excellent general practice because it will improve traffic flow and keep you away from the dangers of other drivers who may not see you depending on the time of day or weather conditions. Second, can you exchange contact information with the other parties? Insurance information, name, phone number, and license plate number are all valuable information that can enhance an investigation by your Waldorf injury lawyer.
Also, please collect any information you think is relevant to your case. This may include taking pictures of pertinent anything on your phone. For example, in a slip and fall case, could you take photos of the slippery substance and any warning signs you see? Seeing where a warning sign is concerning the spill and the path you took into a store or restaurant is constructive for your Waldorf personal injury attorney in evaluating and investigating your case. The third step is to contact the police. Police will not always come to an accident scene, especially if the scene has relatively minor damages.
Police department resources are limited, and they may be able to handle every single accident at a given time if it is manageable. But if they do come, they will create a police report, which can be helpful down the line.
Can I Change Lawyers if I am not Satisfied With Their Representation?
The answer is yes. A client can break the retainer agreement signed at the beginning of representation. However, the attorney is entitled to compensation for their work on the case. When a lawyer works hourly, the client should still pay the attorney for the time the lawyer spent on the case. For a personal injury case, where the lawyer works on a contingent basis, the lawyer will place a lien on the case. Then, if the case gets resolved, the lawyer who ultimately wins the case will need to work out how the previous attorney will split up the legal fee.
Firing an attorney on a case can be a tricky move. The risk a client runs by doing this is you may be coming up on your statute of limitations. Try to hire a new personal injury lawyer just a few months before the statute of limitations runs. Any competent attorney will be weary of taking your case. Accepting a case, especially one where a previous attorney has a file on it, can take a lot of time to get adjusted. The new lawyer must communicate with your old lawyer and obtain a copy of your file.
You have a right to your file, but some attorneys act begrudgingly and may not promptly create a copy of your file and send it to the new attorney. Accordingly, there is a risk of legal malpractice for the new attorney with a quickly approaching statute of limitations deadline. Thus, as most lawyers prefer to mitigate such risk as much as possible, you may lose out on your case entirely.
Can I Handle My Case Without a Waldorf Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer is unnecessary to settle your case or file suit on your claim. However, of course, without formal legal training, both of these options will prove difficult. First, litigating your case is possible yet tricky. You can be what is known as a “pro se” litigant or plaintiff. In Latin, pro se means “on one’s behalf”. Of course, the issue with pursuing a case pro se is that laypersons will need to familiarize themselves with the rules of civil procedure, the rules of evidence, and the caselaw related to tort law in Waldorf or elsewhere in Maryland.
Why Choose Gelb & Gelb, P.C. Waldorf Personal Injury Lawyers?
We know how many options you have to choose from when hiring a Waldorf personal injury lawyer. We hope that you do your due diligence so you may receive the best legal representation possible. Please consider the attributes below essential to an outstanding personal injury attorney.
Our Waldorf personal injury lawyers have 70 years of experience. While our founder, Joseph Gelb, has since passed, our managing partner, Roger Gelb, has been practicing injury law since 1991. Further, he was mentored by Joseph D. Gelb, Esq. for years, passing along essential bits of advice that he has only improved on and continued to pass along to new associates. Over decades of experience, we have been a part of shifts in how personal injury cases function. Insurance companies handle cases differently from how they did 50 years ago. As insurers have changed, how we handle cases has also changed. Experience has taught us how to handle each major insurance company, as different companies have different policies for negotiating settlements and handling your claims.
Familiarity with the insurers and even the adjusters who work for them greatly benefits client compensation. Experience also allows an attorney to know how to respond to complex challenges. The practice of personal injury law in Waldorf provides challenges every day. Having handled such challenges repeatedly over decades or having a mentor to work on a case with leads to better client satisfaction and results.
Empathy plays a significant role in contributing to client satisfaction. And, perhaps surprisingly, it can even contribute to your ultimate result. At trial, an empathetic lawyer can lead to a sympathetic jury. A jury that understands and shares the hardships of an injury victim is more likely to agree on a fair verdict that represents your injuries. But beyond that, empathetic representation leads to better overall representation. A compassionate lawyer is more likely to understand what you are going through. We know how much injuries can alter your life. You may not be able to work, you may lose your job, and you may undoubtedly be in a lot of pain. The last thing you need is to hire a Waldorf personal injury lawyer who does not understand these things and treats you like any other case.
The personal attention our lawyers give to clients separates our firm from every other firm in Maryland. This leads to higher levels of trust between the client and the attorney. It also reduces your stress and anxiety levels as you will have less to worry about when a good Waldorf injury lawyer is working on your case. It should also give you a better understanding of what is happening in your case. At some firms, clients often need clarification as to the status of their case. Our lawyers are sure to address both the tangible losses and the intangible ones.
As an accident victim looking to hire a Waldorf personal injury lawyer, you must pay attention to reputation. Hiring a personal injury attorney can be difficult. It is generally something you consider once the need arises. If you do not get referred to an attorney that a trusted friend or family member knows, you must research. Please look over Google reviews and browse through the law firm’s website. This will give you an idea of the firm’s values and whether you think they will do an excellent job on your case.
We know that a reputation can make or break a law firm. This is why we employ only the best staff. Our staff cares about your case as much as our lawyers do. We also have a culture of winning; this culture attracts the top talent in the area and leaves our clients feeling good about their cases.
Contact a Waldorf Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact our Waldorf personal injury lawyers today if you believe you have a viable claim. Our consultations are always free.